When customers give a little love (or not) in online reviews, business owners may want to give a little back.
Now those with verified Google My Business listings can reply to reviews about their business in Google Maps on desktops without opening a mobile app. I think it will help business owners keep better track of reviews and respond to them quicker.
Recently I read chatter in the Huntington Beach Forum on Facebook that people were providing back reviews on Google platforms, just to cause disruption. The business owners felt they had no recourse.
Kara Jancourtz, a Google My Business community manager, wrote in the support forum that replying to reviews in Google Maps on desktop lets business owners manage reviews without downloading the app or opening its home page.
“Positive or negative, reviews are an opportunity to identify areas to improve the consumer experience,” Jancourtz wrote.
Google also provides tips for responding to public reviews and build relationships with existing and future customers. For starters, don’t get personal and keep responses short, useful and courteous.
Thank every reviewer publicly for taking the time to share their thoughts, negative or positive. In the responses, “be a friend.” Reviewers are typically customers, so there’s no need to offer incentives or advertisements. And offer new information about the business or share something they might not have learned from their first visit.
For the most part, leaving responses to positive reviews seems easier than leaving a response to a negative review, which are not necessarily a sign of bad business practices.
A negative review can help identify points on how to improve the experience for customers. Google suggests staying away from sharing the reviewer’s personal data or attacking them on Maps or other online services. Suggest they get in contact through email, for example. A positive post-review experience can lead to the customer updating the review.
Google also suggests that the business owner take time to investigate the reasons behind the negative review. Sign off with initials or full name.